The two weapons against bacterial biofilms: Detection and treatment

Adriana Cruz, Manuel Condinho, Beatriz Carvalho, Cecília M. Arraiano, Vânia Pobre, Sandra N. Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial biofilms are defined as complex aggregates of bacteria that grow attached to surfaces or are associated with interfaces. Bacteria within biofilms are embedded in a self-produced extracellular matrix made of polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and proteins. It is recognized that bacterial biofilms are responsible for the majority of microbial infections that occur in the human body, and that biofilm-related infections are extremely difficult to treat. This is related with the fact that microbial cells in biofilms exhibit increased resistance levels to antibiotics in comparison with planktonic (free-floating) cells. In the last years, the introduction into the market of novel compounds that can overcome the resistance to antimicrobial agents associated with biofilm infection has slowed down. If this situation is not altered, millions of lives are at risk, and this will also strongly affect the world economy. As such, research into the identification and eradication of biofilms is important for the future of human health. In this sense, this article provides an overview of techniques developed to detect and imaging biofilms as well as recent strategies that can be applied to treat biofilms during the several biofilm formation steps.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1482
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Antibiofilm agents
  • Antimicrobial treatment
  • Bacterial biofilms
  • Biofilm detection
  • Biofilm imaging


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